News: News Archives
Chemistry Professor Garners AAAS Award
for Lifetime of Mentoring
AAAS has bestowed its coveted AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award on Carlos G. Gutiérrez, a chemistry professor, who, for the past 27 years, has inspired hundreds of minority science students to pursue PhDs in the sciences.
Gutiérrez is the President's Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at California State University Los Angeles. He is a synthetic organic chemist, with interests at the interface of organic, inorganic and biological chemistry. Currently, he and his students design and synthesize molecular species useful as probes to study the details of iron acquisition, transport, and utilization by bacteria. The institution is a federally classified Hispanic Serving Institution and well-known for its highly diverse student body. Over half of CSULA's 20,000 students are Latino.
"The 10 winning Fellowship recipients represent a strong balance of national and regional media outlets, as well as broadcast, print, online, trade and mainstream media outlets, and thus, truly reflect science journalism throughout China as a whole," said Shere Abbott, AAAS's Chief International Officer. "Through this new program, AAAS seeks to encourage the accomplishments of promising young journalists who are accurately conveying scientific issues of critical importance to the public -- from sustainable development to vaccine research."
The AAAS award, which includes a $5,000 monetary prize and a plaque, honors individuals whose careers demonstrate extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering fields and careers. Educators who have earned the AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award in years past were recognized for their work with African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, people with disabilities, and women of all racial or ethnic groups.
Gutiérrez has directly mentored 28 underrepresented students (primarily Hispanic Americans) at the bachelor's or Master's level that have gone on to pursue doctorate degrees, and another 66 of his students are pursuing doctoral degrees.
He was instrumental in establishing the American Chemical Society Committee on Minority Affairs and has served as a member of the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Advisory Council.
In a letter of support for Gutiérrez's nomination, Herbert Silber, Professor of Chemistry at the San José State University wrote: "I can think of no mentor who is more deserving of this award…Carlos is one of the people I will contact when I have problems for which I need advice to help my own minority programs. He is not only generous with his advice, but he also does not claim credit for a lot of what he does behind the scenes."
Further, Gutiérrez "has been a principal force in providing guidance to our oversight panel - the Executive Director's Blue Ribbon Panel - particularly in the area of mentoring," according to his colleague, Flint Lewis, who serves as secretary for the American Chemical Society. "He consistently brings his students to the ACS national meetings and encourages them to participate in the Society's activities including presenting posters and attending research presentations," Lewis said.
Through his many leadership positions at CSULA which have included directing the National Institutes of Health's Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Programs at CSULA, and leading major University student-focused programs, Gutiérrez's colleagues and students view him as an exceptional, inspirational and supportive teacher. His mentoring has helped to significantly increase the numbers of Hispanic Americans with doctorates in chemistry and biochemistry.
Gutiérrez earned his B.S. in 1971 in Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and then received his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1975.
Additional information on the AAAS and its awards programs may be found online at http://www.aaas.org/about/awards/.
Gutièrrez will be honored at the 2004 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle. (See http://www.aaas.org and select "Annual Meeting.")
14 January 2004